If ten years ago you had told Greg Bauer that he would be opening a Vietnamese restaurant in downtown Charleston, SC, he might not have believed you. But looking back now he can see how even then, his path to CO had already begun. After travelling extensively throughout China, Japan, Singapore and the Phillipines, Bauer realized that the typical nine-to-five was not going to cut it. He began to envision a place where clean, well-crafted Asian cuisine could be accessible in the way that new American food has become, with high quality ingredients and carefully crafted flavors at a reasonable price point.
Fast forward a few years and CO has become a staple for the residents of Charleston. Perhaps the success is due to the broad appeal and the unique balance Bauer and his chef Tarquino Vintimilla have achieved. (Although a healthy amount of patrons, including myself, might cite the ineffably delicious Curry Laksa of shrimp, chicken, bun rice noodles, cucumber, basil, baby bok choy and spicy coconut broth.) The cuisine is inexpensive enough for college students wandering over from the nearby College of Charleston to spring for, but delicious enough to draw in the business crowd and real food aficionados. And after experiencing years of sustained success on King Street (an area where small businesses are in nearly constant rotation) Bauer decided to bring the flavors of CO to a new destination, Myrtle Beach.
The Myrtle Beach destination, opening this spring, will be located at The Market Common and will feature a bar with windows that open up to the outdoors. Chef Vintimilla, who is moving to the new location, will be bringing along a few of CO Charleston’s s most popular menu items. Curry Laksa fans should rejoice – the signature dish is among those making the trip north.